Friday 27 March 2015

Clare County Library launches Singers and Songs of Clare from the Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Clare County Library has launched its online Singers and Songs of County Clare from the Carroll Mackenzie Collection project, featuring over 400 songs from over 40 Clare singers, collected by Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie in London and west Clare over a period of 40 years, with transcriptions of song lyrics accompanying each recording, and various playlists for easy listening. The project is also enhanced by the addition of articles on singers and the song tradition in County Clare.

Speaking about the importance of this new service, Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian, says that “the public library service in County Clare offers a wide range of music for lending throughout the county, and has offered a very strong traditional music collection in its branch library in Miltown Malbay for many years. This new addition to the website demonstrates the library service’s continuing commitment to preserving and promoting the rich musical traditions of County Clare.”

In September 2012, Clare County Library launched the first part of its online "Music of Clare" section on the library website, featuring a selection of traditional Irish tunes commonly associated with County Clare, where people could listen to traditional tunes associated with County Clare, played by musicians who are from the county or who have lived in it for many years. Also included were transcriptions of the featured tunes, to help people learn the basic notes of the featured tunes.

“Shortly after launching the traditional Irish music project, we received a phone call from Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie offering us a collection of recordings they had made of Irish singers from the early 1970s to the present day”, said Anthony Edwards, Senior Executive Librarian and manager of the project. “Of course we had no idea of the huge extent of their collection, begun in the singers’ clubs of London and continued in the cottages of west Clare. From the enormous collection of files covering songs, music, stories and folklore we selected just over 400 songs sung by Clare singers, and did transcriptions of the song lyrics to accompany each recording, and developed various playlists for easy listening also.”

Launching the project in Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery, Cllr. Pat Hayes, Chair of Clare County Council’s Cultural, Arts, Community, Recreation and Amenity Services Strategic Policy Committee, thanked Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie on behalf of the people of Clare for their generosity in making their life’s work available to the library, and the library staff for making such wonderful use of the material. “The Singers and Songs of County Clare project re-enforces Clare County Council’s strong commitment to the arts and culture of Clare“, he added.

Featured singers include Martin Reidy (1901-1985) from Tullaghaboy, “a solitary bachelor eking out a living on his mountain farm after his parents had departed this world and the other members of the family had scattered to the four winds”; Michael ‘Straighty’ Flanagan (1893-1987) from Inagh, who was photographed by American photographer Dorothea Lange in the 1950s; and Tom Lenihan (1905-1990) from Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay, whose memory was such that “on a number of occasions, after a little probing, he faultlessly remembered and sang a song which he said he had not sung for some 40 years or more and had forgotten he ever knew”.

The project is also enhanced by the addition of articles on singers and the song tradition, and by the inclusion of some of the all-too-few video recordings of Clare singers available on Youtube. Singers and Songs of County Clare from the Carroll Mackenzie Collection is now live on Clare County Library’s website at

Images above show (from top and left to right): Martin Reidy; Tom Lenihan; Junior Crehan, Ollie Conway and John Joe Healy; and Siney Crotty, Straighty Flanagan and Martin Reidy. All photos courtesy of Pat Mackenzie.

Tom Lenihan from Miltown Malbay at the Kilrush Fleadh in 1967, singing "Stick To The Cratur". Tom also called the song "Paddy's Panacea". Posted on Youtube on the 5th of April 2008 by clarebannerman.

Thursday 12 March 2015

Kilfenora Céilí Band - Little Bird

The Kilfenora Céilí Band playing Little Bird, composed by Tim Edey. Posted on Youtube on the 14th of March 2015 by CorkOpera House.

The Yanks play some reels at CorofinTraditional Festival 2015

The Yanks (Isaac Alderson, Dylan Foley, Dan Gurney, and Sean Earnest) performing reels at the 14th Annual Corofin Traditional Festival 2015. Posted on Youtube on the 7th of March 2015 by Niamhaines.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

The Sound of a Country: Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill in India

"In December of 2014 the Irish traditional fiddle and guitar duo Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, joined Sarod player Matthew Noone on a tour of India, to play several shows as well as meet and collaborate with a host of famous Indian traditional musicians. Myles O’Reilly joined the to tour to film and edit this short film encapsulating the spirit of the journey." Posted on Youtube on the 4th of March 2015 by Myles O'Reilly.

Sharon Shannon and Alan Connor live at Celtic Colours International Festival, Canada

Blackbird, Padraig O'Keefe's and The Happy One-Step performed by Sharon Shannon and Alan Connor at the Gigging with the Galway Girl concert, Inverness Education Centre, Nova Scotia, Canada, October 18, 2014 during Celtic Colours International Festival. Posted on Youtube on the 2nd of March 2015 by Celtic Colours International Festival.

OAIM Irish Music Retreats in Ennis - Immerse yourself in the Live Irish Music scene

"OAIM Irish music retreats are held annually in the historic, market town of Ennis, County Clare. Live traditional session music is featured in many of the pubs, and we’ll guide you to the best spots to play and hear music in a town buzzing from Irish music. Aimed at improvers, the learning is intense. You have five morning sessions with your host tutor and two afternoon master classes with other masters of the tradition. Learn new tunes and more importantly gain insight into the techniques that are used to make up the Irish music sound. Take the opportunity to play your music in the pubs as we guide you to local sessions where all are most welcome to play..." Posted on Youtube on the 7th of March 2015 by irishmusicacademy with music from Kirsten Allstaff's album 'Gallowglass'.

A trip to County Clare, February 2015

"A trip to County Clare in Ireland (26-28 February 2015). Photos here:" Posted on Youtube on the 5th of March 2015 by Drew Pyke.

Monday 9 March 2015

Ré returns for Seachtain na Gaeilge

Clare author, Ré Ó Laighléis made a most welcome return to Ennistymon and Miltown Malbay libraries to meet with classes from St. Joseph’s Secondary and Ennistymon Vocational Schools to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge. According to the staff of Ennistymon Library, Ré’s enthusiasm for the promotion of the Irish Language was infectious. During his lively presentations in both branches Ré held the attention of the audience entirely. He was both entertaining and openly engaging while giving students plenty of food for thought. He read extracts from some of his books stopping at crucial places in the stories to lure the reader in. The theme of his talks was "Taitneamh agus Dushlain" and according to staff in both branches neither was lacking. While Ré’s talks were scheduled for Secondary School students, many adult patrons in both libraries were also hooked by his performance.

Míle buíochas ó Leabharlann Chontae an Chláir do na múinteoirí, na daltaí agus go háirithe do Ré as ucht a bheith linn i rith na seachtainne.

World Book Day Storytime at Miltown Malbay Library

Children from “Spraoi” Montessori school celebrated World Book Day on March 5th 2015 at the Dr. Patrick J. Hillery Public Library in Miltown Malbay. Staff at the library welcomed a total of twenty-two children to two lively and animated story sessions featuring very authentic Big Bad Wolf and Three Little Pigs puppets. The children had a chance to act out their own mini-stories and finished by producing their own interpretations of the story on specially printed colouring sheets. A specially designed and decorated canvas backdrop which was kindly donated by a local library patron very much enhanced the atmosphere for the event.

Farewell to Horrid Henry

Twenty one years after we first heard of Horrid Henry and his mischievous exploits, Francesca Simon has announced she will bring the series to a close. The very last book, Horrid Henry’s Cannibal Curse due in July, will be illustrated by Tony Ross and will be made up of four stories.

Saying goodbye to Horrid Henry, Francesca Simon said “I love the stories in the final book, and it’s not as if the books will vanish from bookshelves because I’m not adding to the collection. “Horrid Henry has been a huge part of my life for more than 20 years, and I’ve loved being able to write about the imp inside us all” - The Bookseller 20.02.15.

World Book Day Celebrations in Scariff Library

Local artist Grace Burton entertained a group of 22 Senior Infants and First Class children from Scariff National School on Thursday, 5th March, 2015 to celebrate World Book Day. Grace's workshop began with an enchanting puppet show telling the story of a little boy who wanted to find where the sun went to sleep at night-time. After the puppet show the children decorated eggs with coloured paper and then made paper chickens which they had coloured with crayons. This was a free event and was enjoyed by all!

Friday 6 March 2015

The Ennis Book Club Festival 6th - 8th March 2015

"The Ennis Book Club Festival is a wonderful social and literary gathering bringing together book club members and readers from all over Ireland and beyond. Supported by Clare County Library, the festival includes author readings, discussions, workshops and walking tours through the narrow streets and lanes of Ennis. We offer sessions on running book clubs, advice on reading lists, poetry, events as Gaeilge, and an opportunity to compare notes and meet with other Book Club members. Over the years the festival has attracted wonderful authors and speakers including Edna O'Brien, Nuala O'Faolain, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, Lionel Shriver, Joseph O'Connor, Paul Durcan, Peter Sheridan, Paul Murray, Anne Enright and Patrick McCabe to name but a few. Come and combine your love of reading with a great weekend away!" Posted on Youtube on the 21st of March 2012 by bacaed07. This year's festival takes place from the 6th - 8th March 2015.

Russell Memorial Weekend 2015 in O'Connor's, Doolin

"Some sessions from the Russell Memorial Weekend in O'Connor's Pub in Doolin, County Clare. Musicians include: James & Carol Cullinan, Noel O'Donoghue, Kevin Griffin, Donie Nolan, Joe Carey, Francis O'Halloran, Sean Vaughan, Brian Mooney, Conor Byrne, Katie Theasby, Dave Harper, Gilles Tabary, Stéphane, Key, Yuka, Sarah, etc." Posted on Youtube on the 3rd of March 2015 by Tunes From Doolin.

Luka Bloom, Eoin O' Neill, Quentin Cooper & Friends - last night in Brogan's, Ennis

"The last night in Brogan's Bar, Ennis, February 12th 2015, with Eoin, Quentin, Barry, Noirin Lynch, Brid O' Gorman, Sean Murphy and many more with that great number You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time..." Posted on Youtube on the 24th of February 2015 by Anthony OLoughlin.

Images of County Clare, January and February 2015, from The Clare Herald

"A selection of images from around County Clare submitted to The Clare Herald during January and February 2015. Email your photographs to" Posted on Youtube on the 4th of March 2015 by theclareherald.

Go for Life - Clare Local Sports Partnership

"This is a short video of the work that Clare Local Sports Partnership does with Older Adults in County Clare. If you are interested in setting up a group in your community, please contact Catherine 065-6865434 or email" Posted on Youtube on the 3rd of March 2015 by clarelsp.

Video tour of warriors, ladies in waiting and more at Craggaunowen Lúnasa Festival

"An inside look at the fascinating recreated medieval and stone age life and characters at this historic west of Ireland venue at Craggaunowen, County Clare during Lúnasa". Posted on Youtube on the 3rd of July 2013 by LuxuryHotels Ireland.

Thursday 5 March 2015

Championing Clare County Library

Clare County Library has launched a ‘Library Champions’ project. Clare Library Champions are people who love their libraries and want to be in the know about library events and activities. Anyone can become a library champion…you just have to love and use libraries! The aim of our project is to champion libraries and promote them as a place for all; a place where everyone is welcome and can avail of equal opportunities, regardless of age, gender, race, class or education. We want people to be aware of the library as being their resource and their gateway to knowledge, leisure and pleasure.

We put a call out to members of the public, including some well-known people in the community, to share with us what they love about libraries and we are delighted to have started receiving submissions, including from people such as Councillor John Crowe (Cathaoirleach Clare County Council), Rachael English (broadcaster and writer), Tony Griffin (all-star hurler), Mr. Donald J. Trump, and many more. You can read their glowing tributes to the library at

We hope you too will join us in spreading that message. Becoming a Library Champion is very straightforward! All you need to do is write a short paragraph on what it is you love about libraries or how libraries have helped you in your life. We would also invite you to provide us with a photograph of yourself in one of our library branches or with a literary theme, e.g. enjoying a book in your favourite reading place. We then plan to put the short piece you have written on our website, along with your photo if you submit one. We may also use this material in the local press or as part of a library exhibition. You can submit your piece at your local branch library or email it to using the subject “Library Champions”.

World Book Day 2015 in Clare’s libraries

Over the past 18 years World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. The aim of the celebration is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of reading and to this end all school children will receive book tokens that they can exchange in bookshops providing them with an opportunity to have a book of their own.

On the 4th, 5th and 6th of March 2015 children of all ages will come together to celebrate World Book Day in a variety of ways in Clare’s libraries.

Artist Alan Shoosmith from Tubber will host five workshops on book-based themes in Kilrush, Kildysart, Shannon, Sixmilebridge and Ennis libraries. Alan has a keen interest in watercolour painting and creative photography and has a great love of wildlife & nature which manifests itself regularly in his paintings. His World Book Day workshops for children will be based on two specific children’s writers. Young children will bring Julia Donaldson’s Gruffalo to life under Alan’s expert guidance while older children can choose to re-create their favourite characters from the stories of Roald Dahl. Further details of Alan’s workshops for children are available from participating libraries.

Miltown Malbay Library will host an interactive storytime for the children from the nearby ‘Spraoi’ Montessori school on the 5th of March at 11.30am and Ennistymon Library are making plans for a books “lucky dip” fun day. Art workshops for children will take place in Killaloe and Scariff libraries compliments of local artist, Grace Burton and library staff in other branches are seizing the occasion to visit local schools to showcase what’s on offer for children through the public library service. For details on what’s happening in a library near you to celebrate World Book Day 2015 contact your nearest branch library.

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Seachtain na Gaeilge in Kilrush Library

As part of the celebrations for Seachtain na Gaeilge, forty-five children from St. Senan’s Primary School in Kilrush attended a very entertaining and educational storytime ‘as Gaeilge’ with Maura Falsey in Kilrush Public Library. The children listened to a story about Teidi and took part in a cómhrá gaeilge, which they thoroughly enjoyed.

International Women’s Day in County Clare

Join Me on the Bridge
The Clare Women’s Network is holding a gathering on Bank Place Bridge on Saturday 7th March from 11.30am to 12.30pm as part of the international ‘Join Me on the Bridge’ campaign that is celebrated throughout the world in conjunction with International Women’s Day. The ‘Join me on the Bridge’ campaign started in 2010 when women from Rwanda and the Congo joined hands across a bridge between the two warring countries, to say NO to war and YES to peace and to show how they could build bridges of peace for the future. Please join us on the day to show your solidarity with these women and all who disproportionally suffer the effects of war. More info from Sarah Ferrigan 0656828731

International Women’s Day lunch
The Clare Women’s Network together with Clare Immigrant Support Centre will host a lunch with music, song, poetry and discussion on Saturday 7th March from 1pm to 4pm at Ennis Community Development Project, Clonroad Business Park, Ennis. 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action to which 189 countries throughout the world signed up. Mary Robinson was instrumental in outlining 12 critical areas of concern for women and we will be looking at what impact, if any, the Platform had on the lives of women in County Clare. Please join us for an uplifting afternoon and you are welcome to bring some food to share. More info from Orla Ni Eili 0872385990 or Sarah Ferrigan 065 6828731

Music on Sunday
On Sunday 8th March there will be music, plus beauty, hairdressing and cancer care consultations from 3.00pm onwards in The Local, Newbridge Road, Ennis. See Facebook page WONDER WOMEN IRELAND.

Pride of Place 2015

Clare County Council invites expressions of interest from local communities, projects or housing estates who wish to seek nomination to the Co-Operation Ireland All-island “IPB Pride of Place” competition 2015.

This annual All-island competition, which is run in conjunction with local authorities North and South, aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society along with generating awareness, respect and inclusion for every facet of society.

All applicants will be informed by end of April as to whether they have been nominated to compete at All-island level.  If they have been nominated they will be visited for adjudication over 2 - 3 hours, in the months June to August.

This year the All-island awards ceremony is being hosted in Ennis by Clare County Council, in November. 

Clare County Council may nominate one group only per category and a maximum of 5 groups overall.

The following categories apply: -
Population Category 1 up to 300 people
Population Category 2 between 300 to 1000 people
Population Category 3 between 1000 to 2000 people
Population Category 4 over 2,000 people

Category 5 Theme Category, “Age Friendly Community Initiative Enterprise”
Category 6 Theme Category “Young People in the Community Initiative.”
Category 7 Theme Category “Community Health Initiative”

Category 8 Housing Estates (not population specific)
Category 9 Islands and Coastal Communities (not population specific)
Category 10 Urban Neighbourhoods (not population specific)

The Expressions of Interest will be assessed, per category, based on the Co-Operation Ireland criteria available on request from this office.

Groups interested in being considered for nomination are asked to submit a written expression of interest, detailing their preferred Category with a one page typed A4 summary setting out their proposal to:

Philomena O’Connell,
Pride of Place Coordinator,
Tourism & Community Development Department,
Clare County Council,
New Road,
Co Clare. 

Closing date for receipt of expression of interests is 4.00pm on Friday, 27th March 2015.